Below The Surface

There is more to us. There is more to everybody than what we see on the surface because on the surface, we might see a smile or maybe we see an exterior success. Maybe we see people and look; and as we look at them, we think how their lives must be.
On the surface, maybe we look at a student or n athlete. Maybe we see grades and an honor roll status. Maybe we look at the pretty people and think how “Their” lives “Must” be easier.
We divide ourselves by status and place each other in different echelons of popularity and social appearance.But that’s just an appearance.
Maybe we see the surface of the so-called “Gifted” and think how our lives would be easier if we were more like them. Truth is; however, the surface of anyone is only the surface.
Beneath is often an entirely different story

Not everyone is so outwardly open or transparent. Not everyone comes with a warning sign or disclaimer that advises us about them or their reactions.
In most cases, a person could suffer more tragically than anyone could ever imagine; and yet, on the surface, everything seems fine and beautiful. But below is a tortured soul

I had a long conversation with someone that knew me in a different phase of my life. We owed each other a few explanations because we had history. Sometimes history is not always resolved and sometimes our past behaviors are discussed to gain a better understanding of why we behaved the way we did.

In full disclosure, I mentioned a time, which I felt regretful of. I talked about my behavior towards others and that false bravado, which I carried like a shield.
This was me trying my best to act unaffected. This was me trying to pretend that I did not feel intimidated by others. This was me trying to cover up the fears I had at the time. This was me trying to hide the fear of not only being alone but feeling alone and of never being with the right girl. This was me trying to cover up my feelings of failure.
Truth is I was afraid. I had no idea how to protect myself. I had no idea how to explain myself. I felt childish for being so frightened. I swore I was stupid. I swore I must have been crazy. I had to be crazy and by any means, I could not have anyone else see the flaws in my soul. Otherwise, I would feel weaker than I already did. I would feel more vulnerable; and vulnerability is frightening to me.
I was uncomfortable in my skin. I was angry to feel disconnected and angry to feel as if I were unfit for the crowd.
Therefore, I pretended to be a certain person, which I was not nor was I even close to someone that felt secure enough to brave the world. Instead, I acted out. I force-fed the world with who I was, determined to make the people around me swallow every bite.

This news was astonishing to my old friend. He said he thought I was confident. He thought I was comfortable. He had no idea that I felt less than or insecure.
He even told me that maybe if he knew; perhaps, he might of felt better about things that went on in his own life.

Living loudly or outwardly is not the same thing as incorporating with the world around us. Sometimes, the loudest and the most outward people are truly the most internally silent and isolated. But again, from the surface, no one sees this part. No one gets that you can isolate publicly. It’s easy. it’s also easy to feel alone in a crowd. it’s easy to be in a group of thousands and still feel so terribly alone.

There is a difference between narcissism and depression. In my case, it’s not that I thought the world revolved around me. It’s not that we think so highly of ourselves or that we have self-entitled ideas. More accurately, it is that we find ourselves worried. Or more so, in my case, I was paranoid. I was frightened that something else would go wrong. I was afraid of more pain or more disappointment.

Truth is there were different pieces of me which no one could see. And same as this is so with me it is also so with others.

Everyone has their own internal battle. In some cases, this battle is painful In some cases this battle is tragic and the casualties are endless. In some cases this battle in the mind is situational and in other cases the battle is chemical, which leads us to a popular saying that depression is not a problem with our character; it’s a problem with our chemistry.

I once knew a man who I will name as Mathias. He spoke with me for a long time and at great lengths about the life I live. He explained how much I had to live for. He spoke with me during one of the most tragic times of my life. This was, in all honesty, a self-induced tragedy. This was something, which at my own hand would have ended me.

Mathias spoke with me. He did not talk to me. No, he spoke with me. There is a difference. He allowed me my thoughts and feelings but he also interacted with me and showed me something that seemed foreign.
Mathias showed compassion.
He did not take away my thoughts or feelings nor did he silence them. Instead, he encouraged me. He allowed me the freedom to discuss what I had felt so deep inside. He did not offer any positive affirmation or some forced, helpful tutoring or a catchy slogan that people use in times like this. Instead, we spoke from the heart as men and as brothers.

I looked up to this man. I admired him. I believed this was the kind of man I wanted to be; to exude confidence, to be able to have a conversation with anybody and everybody about any subject without intimidation.

I saw Mathias and believed he had it all. I swore he knew it all. He had to because how else would a man like him be able to speak to someone like me and have me come to my own conclusions. This man helped me to choose life instead of the opposite.

Years later, I learned that Mathias hung himself in his home. Mathias was alone, and sadly, no one knew what went on beneath his surface.

Lord help me, I wish I knew because maybe I could have said the same lifesaving things, which he said to me when I was in that same position.
I would have told Mathias that he is my friend. I would have thanked him for the life he helped me regain. I would have embraced him like a brother (same as he did for me) and explained that I love him.

On the outward surface, what people see is nothing more than what people see. Inside of us is something more important.
What is one without the other? What is the external without the internal? Even beauty is not beautiful if there is nothing substantial behind it because no matter how beautiful someone is on the outside; if they are ugly on the inside then they can only be average at best.

And let me ask you . . .who the fuck wants to be average?
I know I don’t.
No, I’ve always wanted to be beautiful but the problems with depression is the internal turmoil uglies even the best exteriors.
So don’t judge.
You never know what goes on behind the eyes of someone else’s life.

I have taken on a challenge to fight back against bullies such as depression and mental illness. I told you before about my interactions with different methods towards achieving wellness.
I want be the best me possible, all day and every day, and I want to improve upon this one day at a time.

I want the world to see there is hope. People do improve. We can be whatever we choose. Plus, I made a promise to my old friend Mathias that I will never be that kid again.

This is a place called Veritas Villa. This is where I met Mathias. God Bless . . .


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